The Flywheel


clinking glasses
Rea Louise Hayward, Meeting of the Secret Society, detail. Richmond Art Center.

Art In The Fabric of Life of West County

Sydney Metrick, best known as the MC for the Point Richmond Music Festival surveys art organizations and venues in and around West County.





Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Jim Young, substituting for President Mark Howe who was ill, called the meeting to order. Tom Waller led us in the Pledge to the Flag. And Herb Cole, taken by surprise but never at a loss for words, favored us with this bit of wisdom: “Friends will come and go/Enemies will accumulate/So it is better to make friends/Before it is too late.

Rotarians with Guests

  • Jim Young introduced his guest, Christian Chennaux
  • E.J. Shalaby had as his guest for the last time, Rotary inductee Mark Grushayev.
  • Markku Pelanne introduced his son Matthew who is leaving shortly for France. Markku said Matthew appreciates music, French ladies, and good wine. [Obviously, all the makings of a distinguished Rotarian.]

Sunshine Report

Sunshine Chairperson, Bill Koziol, had no adverse reports, but pointed out the presence of PDG Werner Schwartz who appeared to be in fine fettle although abnormally quiet.


  • Past President Erle Brown once again announced the Second Annual Richmond Rotary Crab feed taking place on Saturday, January 24, 2009, at the Salesian High School Cafeteria.
  • Sid Chauvin said that he still has four or five seats left on the train for the Reno trip.

Special Events

Past President Jon Lawlis inducted Mark Grushayev into the club assisted by E.J. Shalaby, Mark’s sponsor. He was given the traditional standing ovation.


John Lawlis announced his pleasure at being a member of Richmond Rotary for thirteen years.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Markku was sad that during the several weeks recently spent in Helsinki, there was no sun or any stars evident for his entire stay.
  • Past President Horace “Stoney” Stonework, who, when it was mentioned that he is now retired, remonstrated that he is merely on sabbatical. Stoney had happy dollars related to Martin Luther King day and the up-coming inauguration. This led to a recollection of the celebration of his  20th birthday on March 27, 1963, the day prior to the March on Washington. It seems that Stoney had $700 in his pocket and planned to spend it on a good time in New York City. His parents, learning of his plan, intercepted him, sending him back to Ohio with an admonition to spend his money on a semester’s tuition. His father, however, went on to the March in D.C. “Good luck to Barack,” Stoney added.
  • David Brown expressed happiness about Jim Young’s conduct of the meeting.
  • New member Mark Grushayev had five happy dollars for being part of such a talented community.
  • Lastly, Jim Young had five happy dollars for having the good fortune to participate in the firearms program offered by David Brown at the Annual Auction. Plus, he is happy about being designated a “friend” on David’s Face Book page.

Normís Nonsense

You know you are getting old when:
  - You're in a bar and you ask the girl sitting next to you "Do I come here often?"     - Pulling an all-nighter means not having to get up and go to the bathroom.

Raffle Results

Bob Dabney drew a white ball and a free lunch.


Differences between charter schools and "regular" schools

Acting President Jim introduced the day’s speaker, Linda Delgado, Principal of the Mazanita Charter Middle School. She was accompanied by Linda McCluskey who assisted with a Power Point presentation.

Linda began her remarks by pointing out that our own April Jorden was one of the founders of the school, and April’s daughter is a former student. She went on to explain exactly what a charter school is and is not:

  • It is not a private school; instead it is a publicly [under] funded school, receiving per-pupil funding at a 22% lesser amount than the traditional schools.
  • It is open to all students.  Manzanita’s student population is 56.44% minority as contrasted with traditional schools in the district at 43.1%.  Their percentage of students on free or reduced price lunches, generally regarded as an indicator of poverty, is 53.1 as opposed to 44.86 in the traditional schools of the WCCUSD.
  • There are some differences, as well, in utilization of funds.  Unlike traditional schools, Manzanita leases a building at the rate of $90,000 per year. And it has to contract for custodial and other maintenance services.

Ms. Delgado then went on to highlight some of the features of Manzanita which she feels contribute to its success:

  • It is the recipient of a California Distinguished School Award.
  • Frequent field trips are an important feature.
  • The small population of the school and low class sizes make it possible to know students well.
  • A school staff of ten or eleven allows students to have the same teacher for multiple school years and gives the teachers the opportunity to be innovative and flexible and to practice collegiality.
  • There is an exceptional amount of parent and family participation at the school.

The presentation ended with some information about why California schools may be doing so poorly in terms of achievement.  These include a rate of school support way below the national average, a very complex and ponderous financing system, and a comparatively huge Education Code.

- "Scribo Veritas", Editor Ted Abreu